Seems everyone wants to know ‘who am I’ and thanks to the vast amount of data now available online it has never been easier to find the answer. I have been researching my family tree for sometime now. The four main branches in my tree are Risner, Whitaker, Marshall and Patrick.
Even though I have traced my Patrick lineage back to a John Patrick born 1429 in Scotland for this writing I want to concentrate on the first one of my Patrick ancestors to settle in present day Magoffin County. A son of Hugh and Susannah Harris Patrick of Virginia his name was Robert ‘Robin’ Patrick and he is my third great grandfather.
Robert was born 1764 in Staunton, Virginia and died 1859 in Patrick, Arkansas. Robert married Elizabeth McMullen in 1804 by which he had seven children before leaving her in 1817. Elizabeth filed for divorce in 1819. Robert was one of the early founders of Floyd County, Kentucky. He and Elizabeth had Hugh, Henry “Little Hen”, Hiram, Robert Jr., Nancy, Margaret “Peggy”, and Brice. The latter two were twins born in 1816. During the next several years while the divorce proceeded Robert had took up residence with the widow Nancy Prater Allen having more children during the divorce, the first one of whom is my second great grandfather John E. ‘Fighting Jack’ Patrick born at the mouth of Big Half Mountain. ‘Fighting Jack’s’ son Elbert ‘Buddy’ Patrick was my great grandfather, ‘Buddies’ daughter Mollie was my grandmother. Elizabeth died about 1830 and Robert married Nancy that same year.
Robert had wandered through Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee before settling in what is now Magoffin. But in 1838 at age 74 the wanderlust struck him again and along with his brother James as well as other family members he set out for the Wild West. There were quite a few other families that headed west with them. They trekked over 700 miles mostly by river to the two year old state of Arkansas settling just 30 odd miles from territory that would become Oklahoma. A village grew up around them known as Patrick, Arkansas. About all that remains is the Patrick Cemetery with 611 graves. It is here that my third great-grandparents Robert and Nancy lay buried.
From all accounts Robert was tough as nails and mule stubborn. Elizabeth fought him in court for years until her death to no avail. Sheriffs were unwilling to serve warrants on him. “July 1820
I got sight of the defendant but could not arrest him. (signed) Jesse McClure for James Brown”. I wish his life had been kept in a journal. What an engaging story it would be.